Egypt is still in social tatters in the aftermath of the Arab Spring which even after it swept through Cairo and reorganized the country’s leadership, tremors are still being felt. The latest issue which has agitated the people of Egypt is President Mansour’s new anti-protesting law, which ironically has itself incited more protests. In addition to the people of the nation, human rights groups around the world are taking notice and speaking out to denounce the new law.
Egypt has not been able to find any stability in its leadership for the past few years. The nation has twice seen its top official of the deposed, and all this within a period of less than five years. In fact, any form of sustainable stability has been wanting since Hosni Mubarak was tossed from leadership.
The new Protest Law, which critics argue amounts to an anti-protest law, was issued Sunday by interim leader Adli Mansour. The law has been characterized as more strict than those used by Hosni Mubarak during his tenure in leadership. As soon as it was announced, it was criticized heavily both domestically in Egypt and by human rights organizations around the world. It is thought by some to be a law aimed at limiting the influence of those who are supporters of the recently deposed Mohammed Morsi.
Many individuals who were supporters of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Botherhood took to the streets in numerous protests yesterday. Demonstrators did this to mark 100 days since two massive sit-ins, in support of morse, were broken up in Cairo, resulting in the deaths of many individuals. The feelings regarding the events which transpired are still very strong, and the new law just passed by Mansour appears to have provided kindling for a fire that needed none.
Those who are highly critical of the new law introduced, say that it seeks to limit and essentially forbid the the right of assembly and protest, which they argue is a violation of human rights. The legislation in fact does prohibit the gathering together for political reasons anywhere near places of worship. It also specifically prohibits protest marches from or to religious places of worship. It is because of laws such as this that individuals have speculated as to the nature of the law being aimed at Muslim Brotherhood supporters or sympathizers of Morsi.
One of the main issues being argued against are the requirement that protesters much register with political officials or police in order to be approved to protest. In addition to this one point, critics of the new law are also wary of the amount of flexibility provided to police, in the name of security, to respond to public demonstrations with force. This is interpreted by those denouncing the new legislation as absolute power being place in the hands of the police and establishment to use whatever means they deem necessary in order to stop unwanted demonstrations.
In a nation that has been tossed and turned on the seas of political instability for nearly three consecutive years now, Egypt’s new anti-protesting law, enacted to help control the situation, on the contrary has incited many more protests.
By Daniel Worku